BOOK: Technology-Enhanced Learning in Higher Education
This volume in the Learning in Higher Education series, Innovative Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, brings together examples of teaching and learning innovations, within the domain of higher education. The anthology is diverse in nature and showcases concrete examples of innovative teaching and learning practices in higher education from around the world. The contributions come from all scientific disciplines and in all teaching and learning contexts.
Technology-Enhanced Learning in Higher Education is produced by the international association, Learning in Higher Education (LiHE). LiHE, whose scope includes the activities of colleges, universities and other institutions of higher education, has been one of the leading organisations supporting a shift in the education process from a transmission-based philosophy to a student-centred, learning-based approach.
Traditionally education has been envisaged as a process in which the teacher disseminates knowledge and information to the student and directs them to perform – instructing, cajoling, encouraging them as appropriate – despite different students’ abilities. Yet higher education is currently experiencing rapid transformation, with the introduction of a broad range of technologies which have the potential to enhance student learning. This anthology draws upon the experiences of those practitioners who have been pioneering new applications of technology in higher education, highlighting not only the technologies themselves but also the impact which they have had on student learning.
The anthology illustrates how new technologies – which are increasingly well-known and accepted by today’s ‘digital natives’ undertaking higher education – can be adopted and incorporated. One key conclusion is that learning remains a social process even in technology-enhanced learning contexts. So the technology-based proxies we construct need to retain and reflect the agency of the teacher.
Technology-Enhanced Learning in Higher Education showcases some of the latest pedagogical technologies and their most creative, state-of-the-art applications to learning in higher education from around the world. Each of the chapters explores technology-enhanced learning in higher education in terms of either policy or practice. They contain detailed descriptions of approaches taken in very different curriculum areas, and demonstrate clearly that technology may and can enhance learning only if it is designed with the learning process of students at its core. So the use of technology in education is more linked to pedagogy than it is to bits and bytes.
About the Editors
John Branch is Academic Director of the part-time MBA programmes and Assistant Clinical Professor of Business Administration at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and Faculty Associate at the Center for Russian, East European, & European Studies, both of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, U.S.A.
Paul Bartholomew is Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Ulster University, Belfast, North Ireland.
Professor Dr. Claus Nygaard is Executive Director of LiHE, and Executive Director of cph:learning and the Steelcase Active Learning Centre in Copenhagen.
Section 2. Introducing the practice of technology-enhanced learning. By Steve Drew & Diane D. DePew (pp. 97-112).
Chapter 5. Where’s humanity? Challenging the policy of discourse of ‘technology-enhanced learning’. By Sarah Hayes & Paul Bartholomew (pp. 113-134).
Chapter 6. iBook technology to encourage self-assessment in the classroom. By Nicola Bartholomew & Graham Kelly (pp. 135-158).
Chapter 7. Reality Bites: reflections on the lived academic experience of e-portfolio use. By Sarah King & Emma Flint (pp. 159-186).
Chapter 8. Java Programming Laboratory: a technology-enhanced learning environment for student programmers. By Steve Drew & Wayne Pullan (pp. 187-210).
Chapter 9. Enhancing student learning in online nursing education using ApprenNet technology. By Diane D. DePew, Frances H. Cornelius & Carol Patton. (pp 211-232).
Chapter 10. Using mobile technology to enhance field education: a blended learning model. By Leon Cygman (pp. 233-253).
A detailed description of the chapters in Technology-enhanced learning in Higher Education
Chapter 2 by Claus Nygaard presents a rudimentary strategy for technology-enhanced learning in higher education by explicitly integrating technology, learning, and curriculum. It begins by reviewing cognitive and social learning theories. It then conceptualises technology-enhanced learning from both teacher-driven or student-driven perspectives, with a focus on either distribution, dialogue, or construction. Chapter 2 continues with a presentation of the promised rudiments of a strategy for technology-enhanced learning in higher education. Finally, it formulates some recommendations which may hopefully be useful for university staff engaged in the development of curricula for technology-enhanced learning. The key lessons from Chapter 2 are: 1. learning and technology are both equally important components in a strategy for technology-enhanced university learning, 2. without a strategy for learning it is not viable to formulate a strategy for technology-enhanced learning, 3. it plays an important role for student learning whether technology-enhanced activities are teacher-driven or student-driven, and whether these are planned with focus on either distribution, dialogue or construction, and 4. every planning of technology-enhanced activities should rest on a formulated strategy that takes into account both learning and technology.
Chapter 3 by Deborah Newton proposes a new performative approach for the use of technology-enhanced learning in higher education which may be described as a ‘real world’ approach which is ethically justifiable and respectful of the importance of the ‘student voice’. It begins by radically re-defining technology-enhanced learning within a performance studies context through the use of critical theory. It then explores the theoretical foundations of technology-enhanced learning from a social constructionist perspective. Finally, Chapter 3 illustrates an innovative and creative application of technology-enhanced learning in performance studies. The key lesson from Chapter 3 is that technology in and of itself does not enhance learning, but instead through its intelligent use in carefully designed curricula which challenge and collapse cultural binarisms and shift the perspective of learning to a teacher-learner relationship accepting of shared responsibility and empowerment for learning outcomes.
Chapter 4 by Eva Dobozy, Jim Mullaney, and David Gibson critiques the uses of new and emerging technologies in higher education. It begins by developing a theoretical framework for the critique by examining the growing gap between technology-enhanced learning theory and practice. It then presents examples of ‘revolutionary’ and ‘evolutionary’ educational change. Chapter 4 continues by raising the ‘digitisation of pedagogy’ dilemma, thereby pointing to the need for a clear focus of technology in higher education. Finally, it draws some conclusions, outlines implications, and offers recommendations for practice. The key lesson from Chapter 4 is that new and emerging technologies must not be adopted blindly, but instead integrated mindfully in pedagogical practice.
Chapter 5 by Paul Bartholomew and Sarah Hayes challenges the assumption that through the introduction of technology (within a given context) learning will be enhanced. It begins by critiquing the very term ‘Technology-Enhanced Learning’ and the associated implication that the use of technology will enhance learning as an ‘exchange value’ transaction. It then takes a critical discourse analysis approach to substantiate this specific critique. Chapter 5 continues by placing this critique within a wider socio-political context which considers the reality of UK Higher Education in 2014. Finally, it advocates for the reconnection of human endeavour with the claimed (economic) gains which are attributed technology in higher education. The key lesson from Chapter 5 is that the academic community would benefit from having an ongoing constructive debate which is characterized by a language of critique and possibility, not by a transactional account aligned to ‘exchange value’.
Chapter 6 by Nicola Bartholomew and Graham Kelly explores potential strategies for implementing iPad technology to support student self-assessment. It begins by exploring the overarching drivers for implementing technology-enhanced learning and the potential pitfalls to be considered when investing in tablet technologies at an institutional level. It then critiques the application of tablet computers such as iPads, as personal learning tools for study management, and considers alternative uses to promote self-assessment, self-regulation and active learning. Chapter 6 continues by examining the multimodal nature of Apple’s iBook technology, within a blended learning context, as a means to accommodate diverse learning styles. Finally, it reviews of our own practice which explores the use of an interactive formative eBook built using iBooks Author; made available on iPads within a higher education classroom environment. The key lesson from Chapter 6 is that tutor ownership of the pedagogic design principles which underpin the deployment of learning technologies is a primary factor for ensuring successful learner engagement.
Chapter 7 by Sarah King and Emma Flint examines the use of ePortfolios to enhance learning in higher education. It begins by exploring the philosophy and theory underpinning ePortfolio use and developing reflective and experiential learners. It then presents two contrasting case studies from Birmingham City University in which ePortfolios are embedded within the undergraduate law programme to support personal and skills development in students. Finally, Chapter 7 examines critical incidents which can impact upon the use and value of ePortfolios in higher education. The key lesson from Chapter 7 is that the lived experience of technology use demands flexibility and responsiveness in design and subsequent implementation to enhance learning in higher education.
Chapter 8 by Steve Drew and Wayne Pullan describes an innovative, Web-based managed learning system (JPL) which was devised to scaffold novice Java language computer programmers. It begins by introducing the underlying learning challenges which these students’ experience when learning to program in Java. It then leads the reader through the learner-driven, evidence-based design and development of the JPL system components. Finally, Chapter 8 presents evidence of the effectiveness of the system by discerning the student learning experiences and outcomes. The key lesson from Chapter 8 is that technology can increase the flexibility of access to the learning environment, and the teacher’s access to student progress for timely intervention, thereby enhancing learning in higher education.
Chapter 9 by Diane D. DePew, Frances H. Cornelius, and Carol Patton demonstrates the use of the ApprenNet technology for assessing students’ application of critical thinking to guide appropriate responses in challenging nursing situations. It begins by examining the theoretical foundation of cognitive apprenticeship and experiential learning. It then introduces the ApprenNet technological process. Chapter 9 continues with an in-depth review of the application of this technology to support learning in a specific nursing programme. Finally, it discusses the value, limitations, and broader applications of the ApprenNet technology. The key lesson from Chapter 9 is that technology can be utilised to link classroom to practice via structured learning activities which permit faculty members to assess student performance.
Chapter 10 by Leon Cygman examines the use of mobile telephone technology for assessing the performance of student pilots. It begins by describing the general problems which are faced by instructors who are unable to assess students as a result of the limited interaction which is inherent in field education. It then illustrates a technology solution which was implemented in flight education. Finally, Chapter 10 discusses how the implementation of this technology supported meaningful dialogue, strengthened the learning outcomes, and enhanced student engagement. The key lesson from Chapter 10 is that technology is particularly can enhance learning in situations in which student-instructor interaction is limited.